Conditions Allow - Frodo Baggins EDH

Ben Doolittle • December 26, 2023

(Frodo Baggins | Art by Ekaterina Burmak)

Of Course I Know a Baggins

Hello, and welcome back to Conditions Allow, the article series about legendary creatures with drawbacks. When a new set comes out with an interesting new mechanic, I like to build a deck to focus around it as much as possible to see how powerful it can be in Commander. Rather appropriately, the ring tempting you has continually pulled me back, which is why this week I'm returning to Middle-earth once more, to build around that most famousest of hobbits, Frodo Baggins.

At first glance, Frodo Baggins is a strange Magic card. Whenever he or another legendary creature enters the battlefield under your control, the ring tempts you, which carries with it a slew of other abilities. All four are useful, but the two most important for this deck will be the first and third abilities granted to your ring-bearer. Both of those dictate what can block Frodo, and what happens to creatures that do. This is important because as long as Frodo Baggins is your ring-bearer he must be blocked if able. Most Commander decks want their creatures to go unblocked, but Lure effects can be a great way to use combat as creature removal.

Frodo Baggins secretly has much more text than just those two abilities, however. He's probably the best commander for building around The Ring, and the abilities it grants will be vital for getting Frodo across the finish line. 


The first ability of The Ring makes it so that your ring-bearer, which will be Frodo Baggins, can't be blocked by creatures with greater power. Because you can cast Frodo so early, and he must be blocked, this means he's great at picking off early utility creatures. Mana dorks, Esper Sentinel, and Viscera Seer all quail before Frodo. Three toughness also ensures that our commander will survive these blocks, allowing you to safely draw cards with Infiltration Lens, or Toski, Bearer of Secrets if there aren't any creatures small enough to block. 

Forcing awkward blocks can also ensure your other creatures get through for more significant damage. This is especially effective with Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist making it so only one creature can block when she attacks. That creature must block Frodo Baggins, so all your other creatures become unblockable. You can even make sure your opponent has a one-power creature to block with, thanks to Forbidden Orchard.

Thieving Hobbitses

The second ability granted by The Ring is a looting effect whenever Frodo Baggins attacks. Cheap legendary creatures, like Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse, not only ensure you're getting this looting effect as soon as possible, they also add extra value on top. Containment Construct isn't legendary, but it does let you cast the cards you discard, turning this effect into actual card advantage. You can also generate card advantage with Conduit of Worlds. Discarding lands to play from your graveyard is awesome, but this also lets you cast any permanents you discard as well. Conduit of Worlds isn't limited to cards you've discarded this turn either, helping you recover from board wipes.

White also adds plenty of creature recursion as well. A small Food subtheme with Meriadoc Brandybuck and Sam, Loyal Attendant helps Samwise Gamgee keep your creatures on their feet. If you prefer to eat your Food, Celestine, the Living Saint can still grab important creatures from the grave, and no deck full of legendary creatures would be complete without Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle. The curve of this deck is naturally low, so Teshar can grab most of your important creatures from the graveyard. Combined with Boromir, Warden of the Tower, it will be quite difficult for opponents to break through your defenses.

A Surprise Sting

The third ability of The Ring is perhaps the most important, but also the trickiest to use. Once the ring has tempted you three times, any creatures that block Frodo Baggins must be sacrificed. Notably, this doesn't destroy the creatures, so being indestructible won't help. It also doesn't depend on Frodo dealing damage. You'll still want to buff Frodo's power, however, so important late-game creatures can block him. To make the most of this effect, I'm including a few Lure effects to force every available creature to block. Odric, Master Tactician is also very effective with Frodo Baggins, letting you choose the exact creature you want to block.

This is where the skulk-like ability of The Ring becomes a little awkward, however. Frodo Baggins needs to be big enough for certain creatures to be able to block. The best way to control Frodo's power is Umezawa's Jitte since it can pick off small creatures and buff Frodo. Ursapine is more mana-efficient, but Seedcradle Witch untapping your creatures can be valuable as well, and if you'd rather get in for damage, you can always use these buffs after blockers are declared. 

Of course, if you're making every creature a player controls block your commander, odds are it'll need a little help surviving. Luckily, The Ring doesn't need you to deal damage, so pulling your commander out of combat after blocks are declared will still force all blocking creatures to be sacrificed. Maze of Ith and Reconnaissance are perfect for this. Mother of Runes is another option, as long as your opponent's creatures are mostly one color. 

A Tempting Offer

The fourth ability of The Ring can help close games, but your other creatures are often better for that. The goal of this deck is to get to the third temptation ability as quickly as possible. I've mentioned a lot of the legendary creatures that help do that already, but there are also plenty that help end the game quickly. Faramir, Field Commander creates tokens every time you're tempted, while Aragorn, Company Leader makes your other creatures more dangerous. Giving first strike to Questing Beast or lifelink to Treebeard, Gracious Host is a great way to take over a game.

With all the incidental token-makers in this deck, it only makes sense to add some support for going wide. God-Eternal Oketra just makes sense in a deck that wants to cast creatures anyway, and Jazal Goldmane is the best finisher in the deck. With Frodo Baggins making it difficult to block your other creatures, you'll get as close to the full effect as possible.

Frodo Baggins

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Commander (1)
Creatures (31)
Artifacts (5)
Enchantments (6)
Instants (13)
Sorceries (4)
Lands (40)

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Frodo Baggins is an unassuming commander, but can be quite effective at dictating the flow of combat throughout a game. He does require a little work to reconcile the first and third abilities of The Ring, but if you want to see just how powerful the mechanic is, then there's no better creature.

But what do you think? Have you tried to build around Frodo Baggins? Are there any cards or synergies I missed? Let me know in the comments, and if one Frodo deck wasn't enough for you, check out my other Frodo deck!

Further Reading:

CUT #23 Finals - Aragorn vs Merry and Pippin

Should You Play The One Ring In cEDH?

Achievement Unlocked - What Creatures Make the Best Ring-Bearers?

Ben was introduced to Magic during Seventh Edition and has played on and off ever since. A Simic mage at heart, he loves being given a problem to solve. When not shuffling cards, Ben can be found lost in a book or skiing in the mountains of Vermont.